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Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities




School of Education and Human Services


The effectiveness of teacher-preparation programs to produce high-quality teachers has been an issue of concern for a long time. Teachers play a significant role in shaping students’ academic achievement and social-emotional growth. Therefore, it is critical to focus on how teacher education programs, especially the field placement component, develop and support new educators. This explanatory mixed-methods study used a theoretical framework of Albert Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory (1977) and Pierre Bourdieu’s Cultural Capital Theory (1986) to examine the qualities of an effective practical residency experience and how it relates to preservice teachers’ feelings of self-efficacy and preparedness for teaching diverse students in inclusive school settings. By utilizing online satisfaction surveys and a self-efficacy survey, the research collected data from a pool of 84 pre-service teachers enrolled in a teacher-preparation program in a small, private northeastern university The surveys solicited information regarding the pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the fieldwork experience and their feelings of self-efficacy and preparedness. Qualitative and mixed-method analysis included interviews with three pre-service teachers. The analysis showed a positive relationship between the perceived effectiveness of the fieldwork experience and the pre-service teachers’ feelings of self-efficacy and preparedness. The findings also indicated the importance of proper fieldwork placement with the support of cooperating teachers and the value of a hands-on approach in the process of learning to teach. The implications of this study highlight the importance of carefully selecting a cooperating teacher who serves as a support for the pre-service teacher. It is recommended to select cooperating teachers who are willing to participate and are trained in working with pre-service teachers and will gradually allow the pre-service teacher more active teaching opportunities. This study adds to the body of existing literature regarding the role of fieldwork experience and its importance in developing pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy and preparedness to teach.

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